While abstinence campaigns that denounce pre-marital sex, may boost the morale of those teenagers practicing abstinence, or stimulate virgins to take that oath of celibacy, they make a mockery of their message by using spokespeople like America’s most famous teenage mother, Bristol Palin, and The Jersey Shores The Situation. A girl who let her hockey playing fame-junkie moose-shootin’ boyfriend knock her up when she was only 16, and a guy that’s whored around with half the drunken barflies in the Garden State are probably not the most compelling subjects to convince American teens to keep their pants on.
In her series of PSAs, the catch phrase is “pause before you play,” which albeit ambiguous, was obviously something Bristol didn’t do when she let herself get knocked up in high school. In her first PSA in April, the message is clear. Unless you come from a rich and famous family, or your mom is Sarah Palin, “don’t have sex as a teen. Don’t be a teen mom, because I have opportunities that you, average teenager will never have. So if YOU get knocked up, you will be alone in a room, in dowdy tee, with soiled couch, carpet, diapers and an unstoppable crying baby…so just don’t do it!”
Now, while it’s great to encourage teens to be safe and “pause before you play,” she avoided every issue that needed addressing when encouraging teens to be safe:
» She could have talked about why she thinks teens should wait to have sex.
» She could have stressed the importance of communication between teens and their partners―setting guidelines and expectations around sex and how far to go.
» She could have talked about *gasp* contraception, and the importance of practicing safe sex.
Her more recent abstinence PSA with “The Situation” is really pathetic, turning what should be a credible message, the prevention of teen pregnancy, into what appears to be a video spoof and completely laughable. It was filmed during Bristol’s time on Dancing with the Stars back in November and I found it uncomfortably awkward to say the least.
The first problem with this video, (aside from the fact that she’s stiff, disingenuous and she’s got the acting ability of a limp noodle), is that she has no credibility. Not only did she fail at abstinence, but she’s profited immensely from her teen pregnancy, beginning with her famous mom’s 2008 presidential campaign. Poor Tripp was passed around and showcased like the jubilant father from Roots, holding his infant, Kunta Kinte up to the sky in a baby blessing ritual. “Behold, the only thing greater than yourself…baby Tripp” (who will undoubtedly need years of therapy for all this talk about how conceiving him was a mistake.)
She continues this money sweep through her run on Dancing With the Stars, and spreading her abstinence message with The Candie’s Foundation, and at other speaking engagements. This is a young woman (if that) who has NOT been forced to sacrifice and suffer like a normal, average teenage single mother. As for the Situation—this is a guy who gets paid to mount multiple slutty, drunken Jersey girls in a hot tub each week…need I say more?
Another problem with this PSA is this vague catch phrase, “pause before you play,” which they don’t really explain. Does it mean, “Pause to put on a condom,” “Pause to take your birth control pill,” either of which would be the intelligent choice. So what the hell does it mean?
My money’s on “Pause for a moment of contemplative prayer to ask the Heavenly Father to steer those nasty sperm away from your fertile womb. Then screw to your little heart’s desire.